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Mohammad Isam in Colombo
March 13, 2013
Bangladesh became a tighter unit after they were pushed into a corner due to injury problems, and this helped them perform well in the memorable draw in Galle, according to their coach Shane Jurgensen. Their first-innings score of 638 - Bangladesh's highest in Test cricket - will be a source of motivation leading up to the second Test in Colombo, which begins on Saturday.
"All the issues and injuries in our team actually made us stronger as a group and more determined," Jurgensen said. "It was led very well by the captain and vice-captain. When we were batting, we made sure we sat together. There wasn't much of a crowd in Galle so the boys had to support those in the middle from the dressing room."
Jurgensen had observed the players since he had first been appointed bowling coach in late 2011, and noticed they easily lost confidence. As a result, he began his stint as full-time coach by insisting on dealing with them as adults and as international players. "After I had first arrived, we lost both series against West Indies and Pakistan," he said. "With the inconsistent success, I thought maybe their confidence got knocked around very easily.
"I have an individual approach with them, and then a bigger focus on the team. I trusted the boys and I have the belief in them. They have got the potential and skill and I am just trying to give them the confidence and give them the respect as international cricketers, treat them like adults."
Bangladesh's recent experience with head coaches hasn't been ideal. Stuart Law resigned in March last year, before Richard Pybus quit the job in October. Jurgensen was given the responsibility just for the West Indies series and now has been given the job on a year's contract.
He had little time to put in place specific plans, but believed that talking to players individually and in groups has helped the team regain focus in Test cricket. "Leading into the Test match, we sat down as a whole group in Matara, and then a batting and bowling group. We have done it in the past, but every time we do that in groups, we make it even more specific to your own team. The boys just executed it really well."
Similar preparations are afoot ahead of the second Test, but this time Bangladesh will have to make changes according to the conditions at the R Premadasa Stadium, which is different from Galle. "We will take the confidence of the batting into this Test match," Jurgensen said. "At the same time, we need to assess the condition. On initial inspection, it looks different to Galle.
"Essentially we need to do exactly what we did the last time. We have to go through the same process."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondentFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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